Rod Stewart wants to ‘leave rock ‘n’ roll behind’ with switch into swing music

Sir Rod Stewart said he wants to “leave all the rock ‘n’ roll stuff behind” and is looking forward to moving in a different direction with his music.

The singer-songwriter, who has had six number one hits in the UK charts including Baby Jane and Maggie May, has recorded swing tracks with pianist and TV host Jools Holland for their upcoming new album.

It will be released next year, following Sir Rod’s UK summer tour which kicks off in Home Park Stadium in Plymouth on June 24 with support act Boy George and Culture Club.

In a pre-recorded interview on BBC Breakfast, broadcaster Charlie Stayt said “rockstars are performing into incredible ages now”.

Sir Rod, 78, said: “I am actually stopping. I’m not retiring but I want to move on to… I had great success with The Great American Songbook and I’ve just done a swing album with Jools Holland, which is going to come out next year so I want to go in that direction.

“So I just want to leave all the rock ‘n’ roll stuff behind, for a while maybe… Everything has to come to an end sooner or later.”

Sir Rod agreed he was in a “good place” with his future plans.

He added: “I’m really looking forward to doing something else, especially singing with Jools’ band, it borders on rock ‘n’ roll anyway, it’s just not Maggie May and Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?.”

Sir Rod Stewart and Boy George on BBC Breakfast
Sir Rod Stewart and Boy George on BBC Breakfast (BBC/PA)

The summer tour dates, part of Sir Rod’s Global Hits Tour, will see him perform at the Badminton Estate in Bristol, which is hosting a live event for the first time, and also revisit Seat Unique Riverside in Durham and Sewell Group Craven Park in Hull.

It will culminate in two shows at Edinburgh Castle on July 6 and 7, which is Sir Rod’s first performance at the historic site for 13 years.

Sir Rod said he and Boy George, whose real name is George O’Dowd, will “try and do a song together”.

“He’s going to come out and do Sailing with me and I’m going to do Karma Chameleon,” he said.

Boy George joked: “I’m going to come out dressed as a sailor.”

Boy George on BBC Breakfast
Boy George on BBC Breakfast (BBC/PA)

He added: “I’m going to be outrageous, (The) Killing Of Georgie is one of my favourites… I’d love to sing that with you.”

Talking about the resonance of the song for him, Boy George added: “My mum bought it for me when I was a kid and she put it in my sock drawer in a brown paper bag to let me know she knew what was going on.

“She used to say I was highly strung and theatrical so it was her way of saying ‘I know what you are, I love you, here’s a great song’. And of course I love that song, it’s a very powerful song.”

Sir Rod said he was “of course” a fan of Culture Club.

“He (Boy George) just broke down so many barriers when he came along, the way he was dressed, the hats, the everything, brilliant,” he said.